Doing Business | IT & Technologies

June 06, 2017

Here are the six big announcements Apple just made

When Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage to kick off WWDC on Monday, he said he was going to make six big announcements. There was a lot discussed on stage, far more than just six items, but they boil down to a few key topics. Here's what you might have missed if you didn't tune in.

1. watchOS 4

Apple unveiled watchOS 4 on Monday, the newest version of the operating system for the Apple Watch. It features a couple of new watch faces, the most important of which puts Siri cards front and center. They can tell you things like when to leave for work, the music you're playing, how your workout is going and more. WatchOS 4 has a new workout UI, support for two-way data exchange with workout machines and more.

2. macOS High Sierra

macOS High Sierra is the successor to Sierra, announced last year. It supports virtual reality headsets, something Apple hasn't ever offered before, security improvements to Safari that help further protect your privacy, new photo search features and a new Apple File System by default, which should mean more secure storage. High Sierra will be available in the coming months.

3. New iMacs and MacBook Air / MacBook Pro refreshes

Apple finally refreshed the iMac after more than 600 days without doing so, adding a sharper and brighter display and new Intel processors. It also brought those seventh-generation Intel processors over to the MacBook Pro, which is otherwise unchanged, and boosted the speed of the chip in the MacBook Air. The biggest announcement was the iMac Pro, however, which will start at $4,999 and includes beefy new processors, a 5K display and a sharp design. Apple said it's "the most powerful Mac we have ever made."

4. iOS 11

Apple's iOS 11 will launch in September and includes new features for the iPhone and iPad.

The big takeaway here is improvements to Siri, which Apple says will make it easier to synchronize your various iOS devices, like iPhones and iPads. It also said it'll keep messages in the cloud, helping to save valuable hard drive storage space.

Another big change is peer-to-peer payments, which will allow Apple to compete with Paypal, Square Cash, Venmo and others by allowing iOS users to easily send money to one another. On the iPad, users will find drag and drop, more room for icons in the bottom dock of the screen and more.

Oh, and we'll bundle this here since it was huge: Apple unveiled ARKit, which will allow developers to easily create augmented reality apps for iOS devices.

5. iPad Pro 10.5

Apple showed a new iPad Pro 10.5 during the event. It features a brighter display with a faster refresh rate, which is important which watching things like movies or playing games. It also sports a new A10X processor that should improve gaming and overall app performance. That chip and the new screen were also added to Apple's iPad Pro 12.9. Apple did not refresh the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

6. Apple HomePod speaker

The only brand new product announced was the HomePod speaker. It's a Siri-powered smart speaker that allows you to play music, check the traffic, control you smart lights, query sports scores and more. Sound familiar? That's because it's very much like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Apple says its product is better, though, thanks to advanced speakers that will fill your room with music. It'll cost $349 when it launches in December.

Text by CNBC
 

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